This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.
An airlift of UNHCR relief supplies is scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu today from our warehouse in Dubai. These supplies will help to boost the aid we’ve already deployed to earthquake-affected areas from our in-country stocks.
An estimated 8 million people have been affected by last Saturday’s earthquake and its aftershocks. Many are living in makeshift camps and open areas in the rain as their homes have been damaged or because they are too afraid to go home amid continuing aftershocks. Shelter materials are urgently needed.
UNHCR has emptied our warehouse in eastern Nepal and sent five trucks carrying plastic sheets and solar lamps for over 40,000 quake survivors in three districts east of Kathmandu. This morning our staff handed over some items to local authorities in Sindhuli, where at least nine people were killed and some 5,000 homes destroyed in the disaster. Our team is proceeding north-east towards Ramechhap. The road has been blocked by a landslide and we have arranged to transfer the items to other vehicles mid-way. Other aid trucks are on their way to Okhaldunga in a neighbouring zone.
Today’s airlift from Dubai will bring more plastic sheets and solar lamps to additional 30,000 quake survivors identified by the authorities.
UNHCR’s emergency assistance is part of an inter-agency response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal. The country has been hosting refugees and asylum-seekers for decades in its eastern areas and around Kathmandu. These groups have thankfully not been directly affected by the earthquake.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
In Bangkok, Vivian Tan on mobile +66 81 827 0280 In Geneva, Babar Baloch on mobile +41 79 557 9106